The alleged sexual assault scandal in Canada involving Jian Ghomeshi that tipped over on Sunday is threatening to blow up after the Toronto Star reported that four more women have come forward with accusations against Ghomeshi, claiming the popular CBC radio host sexually harassed and abused them. This brings the current total of alleged victims to eight.
One of the women is TV actress Lucy DeCoutere, famous for Trailer Park Boys, on which she plays her namesake, Lucy. DeCoutere told the Star of an incident in 2003, when she claims Ghomeshi choked her until she struggled for air and then slapped her on the side of her head three times, hard. She said that there was neither warning nor consent given, and that she left his house shortly after in a taxi.
He did not ask if I was into it. It was never a question. It was shocking to me. The men I have spent time with are loving people... That was something I had never experienced before. It did not escalate; it stopped.
According to the Star, DeCoutere first met Ghomeshi at a television festival in 2003, and eventually had dinner with him at a restaurant in Toronto. The actress says they went back to his place, where they started making out before the series of alleged sexual assaults took place.
Ghomeshi was fired on Sunday, and promptly posted a Facebook status about the allegations that detailed his side of the story — that a scorned former lover set out to frame him by gathering a number of other women to accuse him of assault. Ghomeshi detailed his penchant for BDSM, but wrote that his sexual encounters were "mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners."
On Thursday, lawyer Reva Seth, one of the alleged victims, took to Huff Post Canada to detail the incident as she remembered it. She wrote that they had hung out casually in the summer of 2002, but they had "never talked about anything related to BDSM and had only very casually fooled around — a bit of kissing." And then about the assault:
We had a drink, we smoked some pot and we hung out chatting. A while later we started kissing. Suddenly, it was like he became a different person. He was super angry, almost frenzied and disassociated.
Jian had his hands around my throat, had pulled down my pants and was aggressively and violently penetrating me with his fingers. When it was over, I got up and it was clear I was really angry. My sexual interactions until then had always been consensual, enjoyable and fun.
Far be it for anyone to put down rough sex, but Ghomeshi's case has become much more difficult now that eight women have come forward.
Amanda Marcotte at The Slate pointed at other instances when victims found safety in numbers, agreeing to come forward only after others have agreed to — Sharon Bialek accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment after two other women did so anonymously, 13 women alleged that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them, and 18 women accused San Diego mayor Bob Filner of sexual assault.
That eight women have come together to deliberately accuse Ghomeshi of something very, very serious, could go any which way: Either Ghomeshi did sexually assault these women, or he is being targeted. As he mentioned in his Facebook post, the Toronto Star had initially abandoned publishing its first piece about the allegations against the radio star after not being able to prove the validity of the accusers' stories.
Ghomeshi posted another Facebook status on Thursday saying that thanking people for their support, and that he will not address the media about this matter anymore. He wrote:
I want to thank you for your support and assure you that I intend to meet these allegations directly. I don’t intend to discuss this matter any further with the media.
Here's guessing that will hardly stop the story from escalating even further.